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NRECA Estimates Economic Impact of Lack of Broadband: 68.2 Billion Annually in Member Areas

By Carl Weinschenk, Telecompetitor

(September 12, 2018) - Lack of broadband is costly, according to a new study from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The study looked at the economic impact of lack of broadband in rural areas served by NRECA members.

The study estimated that 6.3 million electric co-op households lack broadband because of the high cost of providing service in sparsely populated rural areas. The average benefit each of those households would receive if they had broadband is estimated at $1,950. That puts the total value lost at $68.2 billion nationwide.

NRECA noted that the study didn’t look at the impact of missed opportunities such as expanded jobs, education and economic growth. Factoring that impact in would cause the economic impact of lack of broadband to be even higher, the association said.

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